What is Deadly Doodles?
What is Deadly Doodles? Deadly Doodles is a brand based out of Texas that specializes in art, apparel, and connecting with the culture I love in any other creative fashions or endeavors. The brand itself is something that was founded back in 2015, but is here for the long run and shows absolutely no signs of stopping.
Where did the name and image of the brand start? I came up with the name and logo right after I graduated college while I was living in Dallas, TX. When I was trying to create a name for my brand, I definitely knew I wanted it to be special. Something legendary that you wouldn’t forget. I honestly want this brand to be the next Vans, and to create a legacy to that level I knew I had to embrace who I was and create my own journey. I have always doodled and loved to draw, and as I got older my doodles started to become more deadly. I would draw skulls all the time. Ghosts, pumpkins, anything spooky and I was drawing it. The name needed to reflect who I was, and embrace what the brand had naturally formed from. Naturally, the name Deadly Doodles came to be. Our logo is the Halo Skull, and is a visual representation of the phrase, “Every Saint has a past, and every Sinner has a future.” My whole message is follow your dreams and do your best every day to make them come true. Along your journey you’ll make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bounce back or be better.
Who inspired you to develop the designs you created? I create the designs I want to wear at the end of the day. I’m essentially making my own merchandise because no other brand was giving me what I wanted. All of the merchandise I make, is clothing I actually wear on the daily and is why this is a lifestyle brand I’m trying to keep around for decades. The designs I develop are almost always inspired from sketchbook doodles, silly skulls, or even music lyrics. I try to take inspiration from everything around me in some way. Even taking a walk or going for a run can do a lot to get your mind wandering and exploring ideas.
Where did the black and white contrast in most of your designs come from? Black and white is the perfect pair. It’s the most intense contrast you can get you know? When you draw a skull 9 out of 10 times it’s a black and white drawing. Naturally those colors seem to stick around with our designs. Plus, you could always make the argument that everything looks better in black. ☺
What are some short-term goals? One of my main short-term goals is to network with local creatives to build a huge local buzz and community that is undeniably strong. I want to be the biggest in the game and truly give this scene and industry something it’s been missing. It’s a big task when you look at it from the bottom looking up, but it all starts locally. I’m on a mission to take over my city.
What are your long-term goals? I’ll be a storeowner one day, it’s just a matter of when and where the first shop will be located. My brand is something aside from my actually 9 to 5 job right now. I aim to make the transition into making this my full-time job position when the time is right.
What was your biggest struggle developing deadly doodles? This is all a one-person show at the end of the day, so self-doubt can be a big struggle. As an artist and designer who turns their illustrations into apparel, I put myself out there in the world in very vulnerable ways. The daily tasks of a brand owner aren’t easy, especially when you are handling every position on your own. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, self-motivation, and working hard even when you don’t want to. There will always be struggles in life, it’s just about how you overcome them and bounce back that matters.
How has social media affected your brand? Social media has been crucial in getting our brand out there and started. Instagram is definitely our main way of getting the brand out there right now. It’s honestly both great and terrifying how powerful social media is. I try to be engaged in more than just Instagram. I post videos to Youtube, engage on Twitter, have an email list going, and always try to keep my network strong. As powerful as it is though, social media isn’t everything and I think it’s extremely important to have a strong in person presence connection with your audience.
Any information you would like to share about yourself or the brand with others? I want people to know that this brand means everything to me. It’s something I lose sleep over. I obsess about it, think about it before I go to bed, and think about it when I wake up in the morning. I’m purely focused on building my empire of art, apparel, and connecting with the culture around me. I want Deadly Doodles to be remembered.
What are some sacrifices you have made to get your brand launched? Running a brand and trying to start your own wave is a constant job. Building a brand from the ground up is not an easy task. It truly is a job in itself and can only happen with putting the work in. You can’t party all the time, binge watch your favorite show of Netflix, or spend hours at the mall just having fun. You’ve gotta be a lone wolf in a lot of ways. It can get a little lonely spending hours drawing and designing merch alone in front of a computer screen.
Any major projects you are currently working on? I’m super stoked on a new collab in the works for our first pair of cut and sew pants. They’re athletic styled joggers with a deadly touch. We have always wanted to do more cut and sew work but hadn’t gotten to that level yet, so now that it’s happening is awesome. Being a brand is about growth so in addition to the pins, patches, and shirts we offer I want to do more. We also have a prayer candle collab dropping with our friends over at West 97th in Houston, TX. That’ll be rolling out in 2018 and features a custom scent created just for this collab. It smells so good, Amalfi Coast is the name and it’s the best smelling candle in the world. I got to choose the scent, design the packaging, and overall had a lot of control over the final product. Can’t wait for people to get their hands on it and smell it themselves!
What advice would you give any upcoming brands? Be patient. Owning a brand isn’t easy. You will always have a lot to learn and you will be a lot happier if you don’t compare yourself to others. Above all, just be yourself and stay true to what your foundations are. I love the term “water your roots” for example. For me that means listening to the same emo rock bands I listened to from 2005 to 2008. It’s an interesting way to look at things, but I think it’s highly effective. As a brand grows it’s easy to change and get caught up in trends to stay relevant. Don’t do this. Make the things you want to make and grow your own unique audience.
What are your top 5 favorite brands right now? I gotta shout out the legend Sketchy Tank for being the first artist I saw out here making merch that made me do a double take. Seeing that merchandise of his in Zumiez was life changing. He was drawing the same things I was, just in a much better and mature way. It let me know that hey, if you actually practice and work hard, you can be just as big as this guy. To me that was a very self-fulfilling moment. He’s my top artist / brand that I look up to. I also dig what Pleasures out of LA is doing. Not to forget Chinatown Market, Carrots by Anwar Carrots, and 10 Deep. I follow a lot of brands who are on a similar journey as I am. It helps a lot with staying motivated when times get rough and your confidence might be down. I’ve learned you quickly have to shake that shit off though. Brands become your favorite based on years of service and growth. Becoming someone’s favorite brand is not only an honor but it takes time.
What are your top songs on your music playlist? Oh damn, I gotta go with hip hop and rap songs right now. However, I also jam a lot of hardcore and punk. With that being said, shout out to Brockhampton, a not so well known rap group from Texas who is killing it. Some definite bangers of theirs are, Swamp, Gold, and Star. One more shout out to Counterparts, a hardcore band from Canada who just dropped a new record that is straight fire. No Servant Of Mine gets stuck in my head every time.
What is your favorite famous quote? “Get Busy Living, or Get Busy Dying.” It comes from the film, The Shawshank Redemption. Amazing film that if you haven’t seen…you’re missing out. It’s a statement that perfectly describes what our whole mission is. Either make your dreams come true while you have the chance, or get out of the way of progress. I’m very aware of death, and that it can come any day. That awareness creates an urgency to work hard at making my dreams come true while my heart’s still beating.